From The New York Shitty Inbox: More Information/Resources Regarding 400 McGuinness

October 5, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Although I have added this information to this post, I feel behooved to post it once again here. Elizabeth writes:

Thank you again for all of the information you have sent readers about the homeless shelter at 400 McGuinness Blvd in Greenpoint.

I called Councilman Levin’s office to voice my concerns about this 200-bed facility. I spoke to Rami Metal who said the councilman has concerns about the shelter as well.

Rami suggested I call Comptroller John Liu’s office to voice my opposition to the new shelter and ask that Liu not give final approval to the shelter. Rami said very few RFPs get nixed but calls from residents might help.

Here is the number folks can call to voice their concerns in case you want to pass this on to your readers:
Comptroller John Liu
Community Action Center
212-669-3916 phone

Next week Councilman Levin is taking a tour of another homeless shelter run by Help USA in Brooklyn. His office will send out information about what the councilman learned about the group and its operations. If readers want to be on the email list, they can email rmetal (at) council (dot) nyc (dot) gov.

Miss Heather

400 McGuinness Petition: Now In Polish

October 5, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

I asked for it— and here it is: a draft of the petition protesting the proposed homeless shelter at 400 McGuinness Boulevard in Polish. You can download a printable version of this document by clicking here.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Special thanks go to Christine for her translation services.

From The New York Shitty Inbox: A Greenpoint Resident/Landlord Speaks

October 1, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

A gentleman named John writes:

As you know there is a proposal in from HELP USA. They want to create what they call a men’s shelter or transitional housing. I have been in the neighborhood for close to 40 years. I can remember when the prostitutes and drug dealers ruled that area. Now it (is) finally clean and we are going to have 200 plus men roaming the area. If you can remember the old Greenpoint hospital. The crime you can’t even imagine ask anyone who lived near or around it. This will no doubt be the same situation. I have tenants in the neighborhood. They threaten to move and I don’t blame them. We need help but not from this organization. Can you please comment and give us some help?

Where do I begin? I have pretty much said my piece on the matter. But to summarize (once again): first and foremost I am bothered by the fact this organization has been asked no less than three times by our local Community Board to meet with the public and discuss their proposed shelter. Each and every time HELP USA has declined. This strikes me as being anything but demonstration of good faith on their part. In addition, it denotes a certain level of arrogance and makes me wonder exactly how responsive this organization is going to be if (or I fear: when) this shelter commences operation and issues (invariably) arise. Given their silence thus far I’d say the outlook isn’t looking very encouraging.

As I have (also) mentioned, a petition is being circulated to demonstrate our community’s opposition to this project. You can download a printable copy of this document by clicking here. After noting there were virtually no Latinos whatsoever at Monday’s hearing (and taking into account that the area where this shelter will be located has a rather substantial Hispanic community) I have taken the liberty of creating a similar such document in Spanish.* You can download this by clicking here.

Lastly, I would advise John (and anyone else who opposes this shelter and/or HELP USA’s intransigence) to contact their local elected officials:

Steve Levin, City Councilman, 33rd District
District Office
410 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 875-5200
FAX: (718) 643-6620
EMAIL:

State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol
District Office
619 Lorimer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 383-7474

State Senator Martin Dilan
District Office
786 Knickerbocker Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11207
(718) 573-1726
FAX: (718) 573-2407
EMAIL: dilan@senate.state.ny.us

And of course there’s your local Community Board (which is collecting the aforementioned petition):

Community Board 1
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211
(718) 389-0009
FAX: 718.389.0098
EMAIL: bk01@cb.nyc.gov

Chances are very good I probably forgot some folks on the above list. I have been up since 5:47 this morning because my bedroom was being inundated with several gallons of rain water (and as a result am more than a little discombobulated at the moment).** For this reason I would be very grateful if anyone reading this tome would point out anything/anyone I might have overlooked via comments or email at: missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com. Thanks!

UPDATE, October 5, 2010: Elizabeth writes:

Thank you again for all of the information you have sent readers about the homeless shelter at 400 McGuinness Blvd in Greenpoint.

I called Councilman Levin’s office to voice my concerns about this 200-bed facility. I spoke to Rami Metal who said the councilman has concerns about the shelter as well.

Rami suggested I call Comptroller John Liu’s office to voice my opposition to the new shelter and ask that Liu not give final approval to the shelter. Rami said very few RFPs get nixed but calls from residents might help.

Here is the number folks can call to voice their concerns in case you want to pass this on to your readers:
Comptroller John Liu
Community Action Center
212-669-3916 phone

Next week Councilman Levin is taking a tour of another homeless shelter run by Help USA in Brooklyn. His office will send out information about what the councilman learned about the group and its operations. If readers want to be on the email list, they can email rmetal (at) council (dot) nyc (dot) gov.

Miss Heather

*If someone could help me knock out a petition in Polish I would be very appreciative. You can download a Polish version of this petition by clicking here.

**Humor me: I’m a more than a little cranky.


Notes From The Joint Public Safety/Human Services Meeting, Part II: A Little More Footage

September 28, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Synopsis: Our City Councilman, Steve Levin, states that he has “deep reservations” about this shelter. More specifically he makes it clear that he does not think HELP USA’s current proposal will address the Greenpoint homeless problem— and he wants feedback from his constituents. Nonetheless he plans to tour HELP USA’s current shelter in Brooklyn (which, it should be noted, is a womens’ shelter located in Brownsville).

NEW as of 9/30/2010: The Chairman of Community Board 1, Christopher Olechowski, Speaks. Listen.

Synopsis: Long time Greenpoint resident (and community advocate) Christine Holowacz tenders her two cents and Chairman Kalita gives a hilariously droll explanation as to how the city applies its “Fair Share” policy to Greenpoint/North Brooklyn. Jane Pool makes a very well reasoned and spot on observation. The Department of Homeless Services representative advises people to call 311 for homeless outreach services. This elicits peals of cynical laughter.

Synopsis: Human Services Committee Chair Vincent Gangone makes it known that he too has doubts that HELP USA’s proposal will address Greenpoint’s homeless problem and clarifies what homeless services currently do exist north Brooklyn and how they pertain to Community Board 1 (this is useful, so give it a listen!). A Clay Street resident asks exactly what demographic this shelter will serve. When the DHS representative says “single men” the audience collectively shits bricks.

More (hopefully) to come. Suffice it to say uploading this footage is proving to be an arduous process!

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: Last Night’s Meeting

September 28, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

As I am (still) wrangling with YouTube and generally pulling my hair out I received a very thoughtful email from a reader who attended last night’s meeting. We’ll call him “T”. He writes:

I found this meeting (my first CB1 meeting) both interesting and depressing.  The amount of misdirected or premature anger based on pure conjecture, misunderstanding, class prejudice, assumption and fear was shocking.  Maybe because I haven’t been intimately involved with the debate up to this point.  In any event, I drew a couple of conclusions:  1) it’s mostly the craphole that is the Greenpoint Hotel and the very legitimate issue of the indigent Polish alcoholic population that generates the fear and the frustration and people are projecting that onto this process; and, 2) that first point is the fault of the dbags at HELP USA who refuse to actually come down and help alleviate these fears or at least be part of the process.  So, seems to me HELP USA is the culprit in most of this.  At least DHS has the courage to come down and explain the process, regardless of whether the community is calm enough to actually listen to it and understand it.  Has there been a history here of these hearings happening and then DHS just completely ignoring the feelings and opinions of the community or is the assumption that DHS doesn’t care and has already approved this thing (an opinion which the dude in front of me seemed to be fastened on) based on nothing but the usual boogeymen?  Because I’m willing to give DHS the benefit of the doubt on this based on the actual words coming out of the rep’s mouth but if others know something based on FACT that I don’t know, I’d love to hear it.

First off, I am VERY happy I motivated T to attend this meeting. If there is one thing I would like this site to do (other than amuse and entertain) it is to get my readership more involved with what’s going on in this— our— community. As for his points, they’re well founded. But for the time being I would like to focus on this question:

Has there been a history here of these hearings happening and then DHS just completely ignoring the feelings and opinions of the community or is the assumption that DHS doesn’t care and has already approved this thing (an opinion which the dude in front of me seemed to be fastened on) based on nothing but the usual boogeymen?  Because I’m willing to give DHS the benefit of the doubt on this based on the actual words coming out of the rep’s mouth but if others know something based on FACT that I don’t know, I’d love to hear it.

I suspect many an old(er) timer will back me up when I write that Greenpoint has a long history of being a “dumping ground” for things other people do not want in their backyard. The Public Safety Chair himself, Mr. Kalita, made light of this. He— along with Chairman Olechowski— also made it clear that the Community Board only has an advisory opinion when it comes to this and numerous other neighborhood concerns. Liquor licenses are one such example and, yes, the Community Board— which is ostensibly the voice of the community— has been overruled. This has fostered a certain level of cynicism— if not outright rage— in the community they try serve. Now factor in the shenanigans at the Greenpoint Hotel and the fact that HELP USA seems to be unwilling to meet the very public to whom they will be held accountable if (or when) this shelter comes to pass and you get the idea: a lot of angry Greenpointers. Methinks this is largely what T saw last night. For the time being I will leave my opinions/observations at that. However, I would really like it if someone (else) would step up to the plate and address T’s questions/concerns. Anyone?

Miss Heather

New York Shitty Day Ender: Notes From The Joint Public Safety/Human Services Meeting, Part I

It has been a long (but not necessarily bad) day for yours truly. Nonetheless I attended this evening’s meeting and will now endeavor to upload footage. I was unable to get everything on film but what I did get should reflect the concerns and attitude of the community at large. I will be posting these videos as they are successfully uploaded— so stay tuned!

Oh yeah, Help USA declined to show. Here’s a time line thoughtfully provided by our local Community Board which outlines the numerous opportunities this organization has been offered to inform us, the public, about their proposed homeless shelter for 400 McGuinness Boulevard (AKA: 146 Clay Street).

INTRODUCTION

A Representative from the Department Of Homeless Services Speaks

In the meantime I will leave you with the following statistics:

  • Number of times the word “bullshit” was used: 2
  • Number of times the word “diarrhea” was used: 1

And some general observations/gossip:

  • The owner of an adjoining property, 394 McGuinness Boulevard, stated that his tenants have made it clear they will move out if this homeless shelter is approved.
  • There was much bemoaning about the lack of “open bar”. As one old timer put it: “At least they can buy you a drink when they’re screwing you”.
  • I had two people tell me that the city owns 400 McGuinness. Methinks this (if it is in fact true) it is due to a tax lien. I see nothing whatsoever to suggest such action has been taken. What’s more, I have no reason to believe the city would resort to such drastic measures: I’ve seen much worse here and they have done nothing. Nonetheless, the representative from the Department of Homeless Services has gone on to the record as stating he will provide the name and contact information of the owner to the Community Board.
  • Many questions (and overall rancor) involved the Greenpoint Hotel. Chairman Gangone stated he had no knowledge of what designs the new owner of this establishment had in regards to this property. Speaking as someone who attended said Human Services meeting (and took notes) I’d like to refresh his— and everyone’s memory.*

Miss Heather

*Pay special attention to “TENANTS (Future)” and “THE FUTURE OF 1109-1113 MANHATTAN AVENUE”.

REMINDER: 400 McGuinness Boulevard

September 26, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Although I have posted this before I am going to do so again: Monday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m. a hearing will be conducted at our very own Polish National Home regarding the proposed 200 bed homeless male intake center proposed for 400 McGuinness Boulevard (as seen above). Regardless of what your position on this decidedly controversial project may be, dear readers, I admonish each and every one of you to attend this meeting.

Hearing Regarding The Proposed Homeless Shelter at 400 McGuinness Boulevard
September 27, 2010 starting at 6:30 P.M. 6:00 p.m.
Polish National Home
216 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

Mark Your Calendars: September 27, 2010

September 15, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Tonight’s CB1 meeting was not terribly lively— but I did learn something that will undoubtedly be of interest to Greenpointers be they for or against the proposed homeless shelter slated for 400 McGuinness Boulevard: Monday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m. a hearing will be conducted at our very own Polish National Home. This will be presided over by the Public Safety Committee Chair (and all around bad ass): Mieszko Kalita. I admonish each and every Greenpointer reading this to make it a point to attend and have your say!

Hearing Regarding The Proposed Homeless Shelter at 400 McGuinness Boulevard
September 27, 2010 starting at 6:30 P.M.
Polish National Home
216 Driggs Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222

Miss Heather

From The New York Shitty Inbox: 400 McGuinness Boulevard

September 6, 2010 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Laura (who took the above photographs) writes:

I’d say that Greenpointers are against the shelter.

Indeed.

Miss Heather

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